Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

I often write about my grandfather and what he meant to me and how he lived and the many reasons I loved him. But in my writing about him, I think I may have unintentionally misled people into believing that he was the sole grandparent who influenced me.

That line of thinking is utterly and devastatingly false.

As is typical, there is a woman behind the man. My grandfather had the distinct honor of being married to my grandmother. “Grandmother” makes her sound old and frumpish and boring though. Her name is Lois (or Barbara if you want her to immediately hate you) but she’s known as Granny, Granmommy, or Babe.

In my heart of hearts I truly believe that outside of Christ, she was the well of love and joy and happiness that my grandfather drew from. I don’t think my love for him would have been the same without witnessing his love for her.

I could tell you that she’s the Proverbs 31 woman (and she is) but that isn’t the only reason I care for her like I do. So here are a few less typical facets of her personality that warm my heart:

She can whistle like no other. Seriously, the lady can whistle in harmony with herself. I’ve spent all my life trying to whistle like her and failing miserably.

I have never seen another woman so completely at ease both wearing flannel in a hunting blind and spinning around a dance floor in high heels.

There is some place in her brain that holds all kinds of delicious recipes. She cooks and bakes hundreds of dishes without measuring and it continues to blow my mind.

She and I are lovers of the color brown. A color that is often overlooked or considered boring, we both see the beauty in its many shades.

Her laugh. She can throw back her head and let out a laugh that will make the whole world want to laugh with her.

She is completely capable. There’s no way to list all the things she’s accomplished, so all I’ll say is that she is the female MacGyver. She’ll pull a bobby pin out of her hair and use it to fix anything that’s broken.

Did I mention she sings? Yep, she can whistle and sing. It’s very frustrating to the rest of us.

She’s a cancer survivor. Now that she’s on the outside of 10 years, she’s really beaten the big C in a way that not many others have. And while the treatments were horrible, I never heard her complain and it still amazes me that someone can look so stunning wearing a scarf.

Her sense of humor. Because she has such a great laugh, I try to pry it out of her as often as possible. More proof she isn’t a fuddy-duddy grandmother- she laughs at all of our jokes and tells as many as she can herself.

She taught me to play Gin Rummy, Blackjack, and Scrabble. Growing up she offered to take me to Vegas when I turned 21 but when the time came, I was too busy getting married. I kind of wish I’d taken her up on the offer though. Granny and me in Vegas seems like an experience not to be missed.

Because of her, I occasionally use the phrase “Well, bully for you!” from which none of my peers have any idea what I mean. And I think it’s hilarious.

She never made me put milk in my oatmeal. Her dad (Pa- another man deserving of many, many discussions and stories) always made oatmeal and then filled it up with milk. It was like flaky, chunky soup. Not Granny. She makes it the right way.

While I don’t think she’s ever even entertained the notion of going to a gym, she is strong. I mean the type of physical strength that comes from doing instead of sitting. I think someone should create a show where overweight people live and mimic my grandmother for 30 days. They wouldn’t need a gym either.

She has mastered the art of homemade pickles. I don’t know the exact concoction but some combination of dill, garlic, and pepper makes the spiciest, crunchiest, most delicious pickle in the world. I think she could build an empire with them.

I love the way she speaks to strangers. There’s this confidence and respect for the other person that would make you think she’d known them all her life.

Speaking of strangers, every friend or boy that I took to her house, she welcomed with open arms. Not only into the house, but into the family. I have friends that would probably go there before they’d come visit me.

Things grow where she is (plants, flowers, vegetables, fruit) while birds and animals seem to flock to her. It’s ridiculous. Sometimes she whistles as she works with the plants and feeds the animals. Kind of like she’s a walking, talking Disney character.

All that being said, probably the greatest thing about her is the way she loves. She loved my grandfather for decade upon decade. She loved him well and completely. But when God called him home, she didn’t shut her heart down. She turned her love on Wayne – her first boyfriend from before Granddad entered the picture.

And with that laugh and those high heels, how could Wayne not fall for her a second time?

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6 Responses to “Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due”

  1. I love your Granny also and she does make the best pickles ever (and has given her recipe to David, did I say recipe? How bout instruction since she probably doesn’t have a recipe).

  2. 1st- I didn’t know that you loved brown too!
    2nd- I also have tried and practiced that whistling-to no avail. Granny and Uncle Jim(who is the next best behind Granny that I have ever heard) both told that I have to get false teeth first…then I’ll be able to do it.

    • I’ve been thinking that fake teeth were the answer to the whistling dilemma. I really hope they are because that would both excuse my current failure and give me something to look forward to in my old age 🙂



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